SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Gear Review: Dahlgren Socks

Something’s afoot at Dahlgren’s, and the plot (and socks) are thickening.

The American-based company has become a master of wool-gathering, and your feet will thank you for it.

I’ve been testing out two pairs of the socks, a winter heavyweight version and a hiking version, for the last month or so. The process has reminded me that many times the feet really are the foundation to an enjoyable experience outside.

The hiking socks are particularly impressive for fit and comfort. I found the winter-weight versions warm but with a bit of an awkward too-long-in-the-toe fit for my taste but still entirely usable.

The secret, according to the Dahlgren website, is in the material.

“We use superfine alpaca, one of the softest natural fibers in the world,” the website states. “And surprisingly, it’s also one of the most durable (three times stronger than worsted wool). Alpaca is also incredibly insulative (10 times more insulative than wool) and as a result, is a perfect thermal regulator, keeping you cool in the heat and warm in the cold. Alpaca is wonderfully absorbent and performs an exceptional job of drying off the foot.”

I’ll say it does. I even went so far as to squeeze my hiking-sock feet into my Keen Cimarron amphibious shoes and headed out for a sloshing, sloppy walk on some nearby trails in the midst of Southern Ontario’s mammoth spring melt two weeks ago.

Even wet, the socks kept me perfectly comfortable and once the excess water was squeezed out, they were well on their way to being “walking dry.”

“We use alpaca in combination with merino wool in order to provide all-day resilience, so that your socks will continue to provide positive cushion from the moment you put them on until you take them off,” the website continued. “They are reinforced in the high wear areas for additional durability. Zones of alpaca and merino work together to absorb moisture, provide cushion, regulate temperature, and help prevent blisters while separate zones of hydrophobic ECO-Dri™, Dahlgren’s 100% post consumer recycled poly, removes the absorbed moisture and moves it up and out of the sock, creating the only active moisture management process available in a sock.”

Comfort they offer in spades. I’m a difficult fit for socks and footwear, with a very wide foot, high instep and narrow heels. Consequently, I frequently have trouble fitting socks around the heel and Achilles tendon. Too many socks and shoes just rub me the wrong way.

Not with these puppies, though. If they could, I think my feet would have been purring like a big white Persian cat while I had them on.

Dahlgren offers an impressive selection of the socks, too.

“Through thick and though thin is all right here,” the website reads. “From the long, tall Sno, Sno Comp, and thick Expedition, to the short, thin Ultra Light Trail and everything in between, Dahlgren has exactly what you need to stay dry and comfortable no matter where on Earth you might be.”

True dat!

For more information on Dalgren Footwear, visit http://www.dahlgrenfootwear.com.

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